Football cards are out in force
And not just Press Pass, Sa*Ge Hit and all the draft packs with the players in their college uniform. Real live football cards. The three I noticed were Playoff Prestige, Upper Deck Draft and Bowman Draft Picks. These are all still draft pick heavy sets, but the football card season is now officially underway.
Playoff Prestige was actually available in rack packs, the first time I've ever seen a rack from a Donruss, um, Panini product. 16 cards for 5 bucks. Prestige is a product I've consistently ignored and I wouldn't have noticed it at all if not for the rack pack. It is the product that fits Gellman's vitriolic rants against retail packs perfectly. For the past 7 years or so, retail Prestige meant one thing: 5 cards per pack for three bucks with one jersey card per box that got cherry picked the moment the box got put on the shelves. To add insult to injury, the card designs were all boring as sin and the one per pack rookie card subset had about 100 players so the rookie per pack you pulled is more likely than not an undrafted free agent that is barely hanging on to a practice squad spot. Apparently there are short prints and variations in the set, meaning I will avoid this like the plague. At least they're giving you more cards in a pack now.
Bowman Draft Picks are on the shelves too and it was somewhat jarring to see Bowman baseball and football out at the same time. It was a good idea from Topps to get rid of those awful Draft Picks and Prospects and Rookie Progression sets and replace it with Bowman which is supposedly the home of the rookie card in the first place. I saw a base card at a shop and the set looks good if you like the typical Bowman design. Black border, color coded, etc. etc. I'm utterly sick of Bowman so I didn't even pick up that base card of Warrick Dunn for a dime. Bowman football has jumbo packs too, but I wasn't impressed. Let me set the stage for you: there's rack packs of Prestige hanging up and just to the right of them are jumbo packs of Bowman. The packs of prestige had sixteen cards each. The jumbo packs of Bowman had seventeen cards each! Oh ho! Topps gives you more cards! How generous. Oh wait, just to the left of the Prestige racks are rack packs of 2009 Bowman baseball. 20 cards per pack. So Topps tried to one up Prestige by adding an extra card, and then completely undercut themselves by screwing the football collector out of three cards as compared to baseball. Apparently football cards are just more expensive to manufacture than baseball cards.
Upper Deck Draft has a pretty red wrapper with the official NFL Draft logo on it. I liked last year's set because it combined the Press Pass college uniform cards with actual NFL players. This was the pack I was actually slightly tempted to buy, but with collecting money tight I was able to maintain focus and pass it up because I also learned this:
I have completely lost interest in football cards
Now, ask me again in September when games are on and Topps is on the shelves, but right now I could not care less about football cards. It might be the heat, it might be the economy, it might be the fact that baseball is in full swing, but football is completely off my radar. I should probably think about selling or trading or giving away or burning all my football cards just so I can use the boxes they are in for my baseball stuff.
There's new baseball stuff out there too
Series two Upper Deck and Topps are both out in full force. Blasters, jumbos, cereal boxes, loose packs, all that stuff.
I saw the following stuff from Upper Deck: Normal packs have 18 cards in them, Evan Longoria on the wrapper and an Upper Deck U code inside for three bucks. Hobby packs have 20 cards and a much better shot at a jersey or auto in them for $5 a pop. I saw two versions of HUGE VALUE rack packs of Upper Deck. The first one is orange and has Cole Hamels on the wrapper. It has 36 cards including two exclusive StarQuest cards inside, but no inserts. The other is bluish, I don't remember who is on the wrapper and it has 36 cards and two Rookie debut cards instead of StarQuests. All I want from '09 Upper Deck Series Two is the Goodwin preview cards so no fat packs for me. If you really like Upper Deck U, get a rack pack, because the code inside is good for one month of play. There were also a bunch of blasters there with 10 packs (presumably 8 card packs like in Series one blasters) including a guaranteed jersey card. Avery dollar I spend on base Upper Deck is one I can't spend on Goodwin Champions, so I resisted the temptation of the UD2 blaster, but I may falter before the year is out.
Topps had a bunch of stuff out there too. Single packs with 12 cards for 2 bucks were plentiful. There were also a few cereal boxes with Jackie Robinson on them. I only saw 4 boxes and all of them were Jackies. Same as Series one, the cereal boxes have 50 or so cards in them including 1 of each of the insert sets and a bonus gold refractor of a legend all for ten bucks. You can see a samble one opened up by Night Owl if you like. I didn't have anything to write down the special refractor cards on, and my mind was too frazzled to memorize them after a long week.Luckily, this guy knows jut about everything about Topps cards and has the lists here. They also had blasters of series two in there where I learned...
Holy Crap, Chipper has a patch card in Series Two Blasters
Anyone pulling a Chipper patch, name your price. I have Tom Seaver and Mike Schmidt patches. I also have autographs, relics, whatever. I NEED that Chipper. There are also patch cards of Greg Maddux and John Smoltz in there too. I might trade the Seaver for Maddux, maybe even Smoltz, but I'll only trade Schmidt for Chippah. The UPC code on the side blaster was a 10 meaning they are normal old base cards and not the retro version with the old timey Topps logo. Remember - 10 or 11 on the UPC code means normal cards and 12 or 13 means the black border or old style variations. Save yourself some heartache and check that UPC code so you know what you're getting. Which brings me to the last thing I learned at Target:
I probably waited too long to buy a Throwback Blaster of Topps Series 1
Not a single box there. This store had at least 5 of them the last time I was there too. Sigh. That's what I was looking for when I walked in the store and I struck out. Now that Series two blasters are out I'm not feeling good about finding the Throwback blasters anymore. There were plenty of 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights blasters there though. Failing in my quest for Throwback Topps, I kept my wallet in my pocket and headed to the local card shop instead. What I got there will have to wait for another post.